This I hardly anticipate, but the presence of any considerable number of prisoners causes uneasiness in the public mind if it does not actually give a sense of strength to the possibilities of insurrection. Before I sent away the last lot a number of suspicious individuals were trying to communicate with them and Governor Morton considered their further detention here as unsafe. If the necessity arises for sending more to this place of course you may rely upon my taking care of them, but it is due to myself and to the interests of the service that I should inform you of the state of things.
I have the honor to remain, colonel, your obedient servant,
O. B. WILLCOX,
HEADQUARTERS FORT DELAWARE, June 15, 1863.
Brigadier General WILLIAM A. HAMMOND, Surgeon-General:
Four thousand rebel prisoners here. Too many sick for two acting assistant surgeons. Please send one or two more.
Extracts from a report of inspection of Fort Norfolk, Va., June 15, 1863, by Lieutenant Colonel J. K. Barnes, medical inspector, U. S. Army.
Clothing of prisoners dirty and worn. * * * The overcrowding of the prison cannot be controlled by the immediate commander. If a number of prisoners arrive it must hold them, whether 100 or 500, and the risk of thus developing a contagious epidemic proportionably increases with the advance of the season.
OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,
Washington, D. C., June 15, 1863.
Captain N. W. EDWARDS,
Assistant Commissary of Subsistence, Springfield, Ill.:
CAPTAIN: I am directed by the commissary-general of prisoners to say in reply to your communication of June 8, 1863,* that the scale of rations giving five pounds of green or four pounds of ground coffee to 100 rations was intended for the prisoners of war. A subsequent schedule was made for paroled troops of our own army, giving them nine pounds of green or seven pounds of ground to the 100 rations, which scales will be angered to unless the commanding officer should find that the allowance is not sufficient, in which case he should report the fact to this office. Not having to make any returns of the prison fund to the U. s. Treasury, and the disbursing of it being entirely under his discretion, the extra-service pay will be allowed as heretofore. Inclosed please find extract from act of Congress returned as requested.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. T. HARTZ,
Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.
*See Vol. V, this series, p. 762.